State’s Urban Legends: Tennessee

Tennessee is the home of the Jack Daniel’s distillery – in Lynchburg if you are planning a visit. You might think the people who cooked up these urban legends did so after sampling some of the latest product.

Old Green Eyes

Old Green Eyes is not a wanna-be Frank Sinatra doomed to haunt bars as a lounge lizard. But he does haunt.

In a strange reversal of New York’s Headless Horseman of SLeepy Hollow fame, Old Green Eyes is a head without a corpse. He was a Confederate soldier who met his fate on the Chickamauga Battlefield. Problem is, they only found his head. The rest of him? Never found even so much as a fingernail of him.

Legend says if you walk the battlefield at night you might just encounter a set of glowing green eyes following you about. He might be hoping you’ll find the rest of him. Or he might be sizing you up as a replacement for his disembodied body.

The Bell Witch

This one inspired a book and a film. Yeah, it is that spooky.

Tennessee urban legend

The gravestone of John Bell, a victim of the Bell Witch.

The legend stems from the haunting of the Bell family back in the early 19th Century. It became so famous at the time that even Andrew Jackson – yes, the guy on the $20 bill – paid the area a visit to check it out for himself.

Rumor has it Jackson encountered the Witch in a cave – believed to be a portal she uses to travel between this world and the spirit realm. Rumor has it that after she spoke to him, he got the hell out of the area pronto.

Considering what she did to the Bell family, can you blame him? It started when John Bell shot at a strange looking creature in his fields. After that day doors and windows at the Bell house were tapped frequently by an unseen hand, sheets were pulled off of beds and a disembodied voice began speaking to the family. The voice wasn’t being nice either.

Three years later, John Bell died. A small container with a strange liquid sat nearby. The Bell Witch, who called herself Kate, took credit for poisoning John Bell.

You can visit the Bell Witch Cave near Adams, Tennessee today. If you dare…

Pine Haven School

Located in Jamestown, Tennessee the Pine Haven School is very old, long abandoned and very, very haunted.

Legends has it that a young boy was once cornered by a group of bullies in a bathroom. A careless shove into a mirror and the young child was killed when the glass shattered and falling shards fatally cut him. The bullies covered up the murder by burying their victim underneath the floorboards.

Should you enter the old building you should probably avoid looking into any mirror inside. You might see the reflection of the murdered boy there.

About the author

Richard Paolinelli